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ECB Convergence Report December 2006

5 December 2006

The European Central Bank (ECB) publishes today its assessment of the economic and legal convergence of nine EU Member States: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden. The ECB’s Convergence Report examines whether a high degree of sustainable economic convergence has been achieved in these countries. In addition, it gauges compliance with the statutory requirements to be fulfilled for national central banks to become an integral part of the Eurosystem (legal convergence).

In producing this report, the ECB fulfils the requirement of Article 122(2) in conjunction with Article 121(1) of the Treaty establishing the European Community to report to the Council of the European Union (EU Council) at least once every two years or at the request of a Member State with a derogation “on the progress made in the fulfilment by the Member States of their obligations regarding the achievement of economic and monetary union”.

At present, 13 Member States are not yet full participants in Economic and Monetary Union. Two of them, namely Denmark and the United Kingdom, have a special status in accordance with the terms of the relevant protocols annexed to the Treaty. As a consequence, convergence reports only have to be provided for these two Member States if they so request.

Two other Member States, Lithuania and Slovenia, were examined in the Convergence Report issued by the ECB in May 2006, at their request. Taking into account that report as well as the Convergence Report published by the European Commission in May 2006, and upon a proposal from the European Commission, the EU Council decided to abrogate Slovenia’s derogation, allowing it to adopt the euro on 1 January 2007. Lithuania’s status as a country with a derogation remains unchanged. However, it is not included in this report, having already been the subject of a convergence examination in 2006.

The ECB’s Convergence Report can be obtained in 19 Community languages on the ECB's website (http://www.ecb.europa.eu).

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